Male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia is a common problem that many men face. In fact, research shows that half of the men by the age of 50 will be affected by male pattern baldness.
Aside from the physical effects of male pattern baldness in men, there are often more devastating physiological effects. This condition can cause men to lose confidence and suffer from self-esteem issues.
There are treatments available for male pattern baldness, but some are extremely painful or require surgery. Understandably, some men may not be able to commit to these hair restoration treatments due to these factors.
Learn more about hair restoration treatments that are available today. There are treatments available that are effective solutions to male pattern baldness that can help men regain both their hair as well as their confidence!
Hair Growth Cycle
Before discussing the causes and physiology of male pattern baldness, it is important to understand the hair growth cycle. The following is a brief review.
The anagen phase, also known as the growth phase, is the longest stage of the hair growth cycle. It typically lasts between two and six years, during which time the hair follicle undergoes a rapid period of cell division. This results in the production of long, thick strands of hair.
The catagen phase is a transitional stage of the hair growth cycle. It typically lasts for 2-3 weeks, during which the hair follicle shrinks and the hair shaft detaches from the follicle. The catagen phase is characterized by several changes in the hair follicle, including the cessation of cell proliferation and the breakdown of the papilla. The reduced blood flow to the follicle also leads to a decrease in the production of keratin. As a result, the hair shaft becomes thinner and more fragile during this phase. Ultimately, these changes cause the hair to fall out, making way for new growth in the subsequent telogen phase.
At any given time, a majority of the hairs on your head are in the telogen, or resting, phase. This phase lasts for about three months, and during this time the hair follicle is inactive. The hair shaft remains attached to the follicle, but no new growth occurs.
The exogen phase is the final stage of the hair growth cycle. It is characterized by the shedding of dead hair shafts, which are replaced by new growth. This phase can last for several months, and the rate of shedding varies from person to person.
While shed hairs are often visible on the surface of the scalp, they can also accumulate in the follicle itself. This can cause the follicle to become blocked, leading to a buildup of sebum and bacteria. In some cases, this can lead to the development of inflammatory conditions such as folliculitis. Exfoliation is one way to help prevent these issues by removing dead skin cells and hair shafts from the surface of the scalp. This allows new growth to emerge unimpeded and helps to keep the follicle clear. Regular exfoliation also helps to stimulate circulation and promote healthy hair growth.
The average person will lose about 100 hairs per day, with most of those coming from the exogen phase.
What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?
Androgenetic alopecia is caused by three main sources in men. They are testosterone, 5-alpha reductase, and dihydrotestosterone.
Testosterone is a hormone that is produced primarily in the testicles. It is responsible for the development of male sex organs and characteristics, such as facial and body hair, a deep voice, and increased muscle mass.
Testosterone levels peak during adolescence and early adulthood. After age 30, testosterone levels begin to decline, and this process can be accelerated by factors such as poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and stress.
Low testosterone levels can cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and depression.
5-alpha reductase is an enzyme that helps to convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). 5-alpha reductase is primarily found in the prostate, but it is also present in other tissues, including the skin and hair follicles.
In men with certain genetic conditions, such as male pattern baldness, this enzyme can be overexpressed, leading to increased levels of DHT and unwanted hair loss.
Dihydrotestosterone is an androgen, a type of hormone that plays a role in male development and function. DHT is produced when the enzyme 5-alpha reductase converts testosterone to DHT. DHT is found at high levels in the scalp, where it binds to hair follicles and shrinks them, eventually leading to hair loss. It is also thought to play a role in prostate enlargement.
Although DHT is essential for normal male development, too much of it can lead to undesirable effects, such as hair loss and prostate enlargement. Therefore, it is important to maintain healthy levels of DHT in the body.
Testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone, which is present in the hair follicle, by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase in men who suffer from androgenetic alopecia. DHT binds to the androgen receptors in the hair follicle and causes miniaturization of the hair follicle which can slow or stop hair growth. DHT is responsible for the miniaturization of hair follicles and the decrease in hair production during the anagen phase of hair growth and prolonging the exogen or shedding phase.
This combination reduces or completely stops new hair growth while hair sheds meaning more hair is lost than is grown leading to receding hairlines and bald spots.
Signs and Symptoms of Androgenetic Alopecia
Androgenetic alopecia typically begins with a receding hairline and gradual thinning of the hair on the crown of the head. Several warning signs can indicate the presence of androgenetic alopecia. These include a gradual increase in hair loss, a widening part line, and excessive shedding.
In some cases, there may also be a decrease in the density of the hair or an increase in hair breakage. Androgenetic alopecia can often be diagnosed with a simple physical examination. If you are concerned about the possibility of developing this condition, it is important to speak with your doctor.
Alopecia and its Mental Effect
The psychological toll that male pattern baldness can have on men can be significant. Some men may feel self-conscious or embarrassed about their hair loss. They may feel like they are not as attractive as they used to be. This can lead to feelings of anxiety or depression. Some men may also find it difficult to deal with the change in their appearance.
The good news for men who suffer from male pattern baldness is that there are treatment options available. Let's review them now!
Treatment Options for Androgenetic Alopecia
Treatment of male pattern baldness is often broken down into two categories: surgical and nonsurgical treatment options. Let's review these treatment options.
Finasteride or Proscar is a drug that is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) as well as male pattern baldness. It is a type of medication known as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. This means that it blocks the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. DHT is the hormone that is responsible for the development of male pattern baldness. Finasteride can help to prevent the formation of DHT, and this can help to slow down or stop the progression of hair loss.
Pros of Finasteride:
In studies, finasteride has been proven to be effective in treating hair loss and it has also been shown to be safe for long-term use. Finasteride is a convenient and affordable treatment option for hair loss and it is widely available.
Cons of Finasteride:
Side effects of finasteride include sexual side effects such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and reduced ejaculate volume.
Minoxidil is a drug that was initially used to treat high blood pressure, but it was found to have an unexpected side effect: hair growth. Minoxidil is a medication that is used to treat hair loss. It is available in both topical and oral forms. Minoxidil works by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the scalp. This increased blood flow provides nutrients to the hair follicles, which can promote hair growth.
Pros of Minoxidil:
Minoxidil is a medication that is used to treat hair loss. It is available in both topical and oral forms. Minoxidil works by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the scalp. This increased blood flow provides nutrients to the hair follicles, which can promote hair growth. Minoxidil has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of male pattern baldness.
Cons of Minoxidil:
Minoxidil treatment typically takes several months to produce visible results. The medication is available over the counter in most countries. It can cause side effects such as scalp irritation, dizziness, and headache.
Nutrafol is a nutraceutical supplement that helps to reduce hair loss and promote hair growth. The active ingredients in Nutrafol are biotin, saw palmetto, ashwagandha, and green tea extract. These ingredients work together to block DHT, a hormone that causes hair loss. In addition, they help to improve circulation and provide nutrients that are essential for healthy hair growth.
Pros of Nutrafol:
One of the main benefits of taking Nutrafol is that it is all natural and does not contain any synthetic hormones or chemicals. It is also non-GMO and gluten-free. Additionally, Nutrafol is said to be more effective than other hair loss treatments because it addresses the underlying causes of hair loss, rather than just masking the symptoms.
Cons of Nutrafol:
The most common side effect is mild gastrointestinal upset, which can include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In rare cases, more serious gastrointestinal problems have been reported. There have also been reports of allergic reactions, including skin rashes and itching.
Low-Level Light Therapy
Low-level light therapy (LLLT) uses red or near-infrared light to stimulate the cells in the hair follicles. The light energy helps to increase blood flow and oxygenation to the follicles, which promotes healing and boosts the production of new hair. In addition, LLLT can help to reduce inflammation and improve nerve function.
Pros of LLLT:
LLLT is a relatively safe and non-invasive treatment option, which makes it an attractive choice for those looking for an alternative to medications or surgery.
Cons of LLLT:
One of the most common side effects of LLLT is scalp irritation. The laser treatments can cause temporary redness, swelling, and discomfort. In some cases, people have also reported experiencing headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a treatment that is showing promise in the fight against male pattern baldness. PRP therapy involves taking a sample of blood from the patient and centrifuging it to concentrate the platelets. The concentrated platelets are then injected with needles back into the scalp. The platelets release growth factors that stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth. Many patients prefer other options due to the painful needle injections that PRP demands.
Pros of PRP:
PRP is derived from the patient's blood, so it is a natural treatment option. In addition, PRP has been shown to be effective in treating both male and female pattern baldness.
Cons of PRP:
The biggest drawback to PRP therapy is pain due to the injection sites on the scalp. Men who have a phobia of needles would not tolerate this therapy well.
Hair transplant surgery involves taking healthy hair follicles from one area of the scalp and transplanting them to the balding area. This can help to restore a natural-looking hairline and fill in thinning areas of the scalp.
Pros of Hair Transplant:
There are several advantages to this type of surgery. The results can be very natural-looking and it is possible to achieve significant results with just one surgery.
Cons of Hair Transplant:
One of the most common complications is shock loss, which occurs when the body rejects the transplanted hair follicles. This can result in temporary baldness or thinning of the transplanted area. In rare cases, it may even lead to permanent hair loss. Infection is another potential complication, though this can usually be avoided with proper care after the surgery. There is also a risk of scarring, though this is typically minimal. Also, since this is a surgical procedure it is generally quite a hit on the pocketbook.
New Treatments for Male Pattern Baldness
Alma TED is an ultrasound-based system that leverages acoustic sound waves to address a wide range of aesthetic applications that would benefit from improved blood flow.
The TED+ Hair Care Formula contains essential ingredients that conjunctively support optimal hair and scalp health and follicular strength. When paired with the TED+ Hair Care Formula, Alma TED helps improve the appearance of hair resulting in thicker, fuller-looking hair with increased shine and strength.
Why Alma TED?
Alma TED is a revolutionary, non-invasive treatment. When used with a topical Hair Care Formula, it promotes improved blood flow to the scalp which results in thicker, stronger hair. It offers these benefits without the discomfort and shedding often experienced with other in-office hair treatments and procedures.
The Science Behind Alma TED
Alma TED is an exciting procedure that uses acoustic sound waves and air pressure to drive medications past the protective layer of skin down to the dermis. TED is a revolutionary process that drives active components deeper in the skin for higher compound absorption. The acoustic sound waves create gaseous bubbles within the stratum corneum that expand the lipid bilayer allowing for medications to absorb. Air pressure creates a push and pull effect that drives the medications even further. TED has been shown to produce results in both hair density as well as hair thickness.
Instead of creating channels with needles or laser energy, temporary pain-free channels are created that allow the medications to penetrate the skin. The result is a noninvasive and nontraumatic hair restoration treatment free of needles and pain.
TED stands for transepidermal delivery. TED+ hair formula contains ingredients that support optimal hair and scalp health and follicular strength.
TED Frequently Asked Questions
What is Alma TED?
Alma TED is an ultrasound-based system that leverages acoustic sound waves to address a
wide range of aesthetic applications that would benefit from improved blood flow. Our TED+ Hair Care Formula contains essential ingredients that conjunctively support optimal hair and scalp health and follicular strength. When paired with the TED+ Hair Care Formula, Alma TED helps improve the appearance of hair resulting in thicker, fuller-looking hair with increased shine and strength.
What should I expect during treatments?
Alma TED is a quick, 20–25 minute treatment. During your consultation, your practitioner will assess your scalp to personalize the best treatment for you. You’ll notice improvements as early as one month following your first treatment, but additional treatments may be recommended for optimal results.
Is the treatment painful?
No, the treatment should not be painful. You can expect to feel a warm sensation from the device and a ringing sound through the course of the treatment, but there is no pain involved. No Needles. No Discomfort. No Trauma to the Scalp.
How soon can I expect to see results?
You can expect to see minor results after one treatment, but it is recommended to have at least three treatments, one month apart, for optimal results.
Who is a candidate for Alma TED?
Alma TED was developed to be used on any individual that is suffering from hair loss or that wants to improve the overall thickness and appearance of their hair. Speak to your Cosmetologist to discuss the best treatment plan for you.
Co-modalities for Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia
Rarely there is just one approach to "fixing" male pattern baldness. Co-modalities are a type of treatment that uses multiple therapies to target the different causes of hair loss.
Think of it in these terms. A man has high blood pressure or diabetes. Very rarely will that patient find that one medication or treatment will "fix" the underlying issue. Disease control often requires the use of multiple medications. Each medication has its own "job" to do. Cumulatively, the results are usually very good along with positive patient compliance.
Examples of co-modalities for the treatment of male pattern baldness may include oral or topical medications and low-level laser therapy. Another example of a co-modality is taking Nutrafol and receiving TED treatments.
Taking an approach such as these examples targets the core root of male pattern baldness from multiple angles. For example, one modality may be aimed at blocking the formation of DHT while the other modality is responsible for promoting blood flow which carries oxygen and nutrients to the area being treated.
By targeting the different causes of hair loss and androgenetic alopecia, co-modalities can be an effective way to treat male pattern baldness and improve the appearance of the hair.
Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss in men. It typically occurs as men age, and it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. Dihydrotestosterone is the primary culprit involved in androgenetic alopecia as it binds to receptors in the hair follicles causing miniaturization of the follicle. This causes weaker hair as well as hair to fall out disrupting the hair growth cycle.
Male pattern baldness is characterized by a receding hairline and thinning hair on the crown of the head. In severe cases, it can lead to complete baldness.
There are several treatments available for male pattern baldness such as topical and oral medications, nutriceuticals, PRP, and surgery, but they are not always effective and all have pros and cons.
Male pattern baldness can be a source of anxiety and low self-esteem for many men. If you are experiencing hair loss, it is important to speak to a doctor or cosmetologist to discuss your treatment options.
There are exciting new treatments available for male pattern baldness. Alma TED is one of these revolutionary treatments and has been clinically proven to regrow hair for men who suffer from androgenetic alopecia. TED is a non-invasive, non-traumatic, needle-free, and pain-free option for hair restoration.
Men's Den, Inc. is one of the first salons and spas in the country to offer this groundbreaking therapy. If you are suffering from male pattern baldness, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Grow back your hair as well as your confidence with Alma TED at Men's Den, Inc.